Yes, it is definitely a sentimental piece, but I think that's a good thing here. I do imagine them all ending up back in the old dormitory at some point, and this imagining provides a convincing idea of how that might have happened. In other fics, Harry seems to linger down in the Hall and be the last one to finally succomb to sleep, but I like your take better because Harry doesn't do well with all that attention. I think he might disappear as soon as possible and wander up to the best home he's ever known: Gryffindor. The order of the boys going up works well though I do agree with Jess that the journey itself did get a bit repetitive. Not sure what method might have worked better, because I did enjoy the progression in the mood/grief of the Fat Lady upon each boy's entrance to the tower. I particularly liked Dean thanking Harry. It's good he mentioned both rescues though, because I wonder if Harry would have taken credit for the bit at the Manor when Dobby had been the true hero there. Without Dobby, they all would have died. But Harry can say "You're welcome" because of Dean's inclusion of that morning's victory. Neville's characterization was particularly good. I loved that you had him with Luna -- a nice touch, especially considering this was before DHp2, where it becomes movie canon. This pairing just works at this time, and I liked that they were together. Neville placing the sword with Harry was the best moment in the fic, in my opinion, and Harry's reaction to seeing it there. I might have had an ache in my throat during that part, but it was probably just my allergies. Hehe. I wondered about Ron pulling away from his Mum at that time, just because of how grief-stricken they all were at that point. And I doubt he would have left without Hermione... but of course, we don't know for certain, but that did give me pause. My only other question would be regarding Lavender. The last mention of her in canon has her in very bad shape after being attacked by Greyback. I think she is described as "feebly moving." It's a dire enough description to lead many authors to kill her off in Post-Hogwarts stories. While I'm extrememly glad you didn't go that route, I wonder if she would have been sitting up in that circle, leaning on a shoulder. Perhaps, though. Again, just something that make me wonder. Lovely work, Danielle. I enjoy these sort of fics, set in the battle or immediately after, and you captured the mood very well. Love those Gryffindor boys. Take care. ~Lori
wow, i got goosebumps. (the good warmth inducing, aww kind). It feels so peaceful! Lovely take on this part of the story. :)
wow, i got goosebumps. (the good warmth inducing, aww kind). It feels so peaceful! Lovely take on this part of the story. :)
Fantastic! I love all the parts, but especially the last two paragraphs- still the boys they were on the first day of their first year. Just maybe 7 years older. ;P
Good job! :D :D :D
This was great!!! I love the Neville/Luna part, and I've always made myself think that they dated for a while before Luna married Rolf, just to make myself happy. I think that it's great that they all had a normal night in Hogwarts after that, even though I always expected that they would go home that night. Great job!
Wonderful story! I love how you go through the scope of emotions, delving into each of the boys' heads. It's a fantastic and easily visual read.
Author's Response: Thanks very much :)
A bit sentimental? Maybe.
But that’s hardly a bad thing, I think. This is what I refer to as a Sandwich Fic, as in it’s focused on what happened immediately after the last line in Deathly Hallows. There are so many stories to be told, varying greatly in mood, but this one is a very special one indeed. There is a great feeling of bringing the whole Hogwarts experience for this particular group of Gryffindors full circle. They crossed the lake on the boats, got sorted, and spent their first night in the castle together. You picked such a fitting atmosphere for them, when all was said and done, to pass the time. No parties, no backslapping congratulations — just a bit of a lie-in. The simplicity of it is gorgeous.
One of the best things you could’ve done in this story was separate each boy, give each of them their own segment, save for Harry. We already knew what was going on with him. However, that being said, he was characterised so wonderfully through the eyes of his peers. Everything, from his dialogue to his attitude toward each of his mates was so spot on.
I thought Dean, Seamus and Neville were all done extremely well, too. I like the way each of them have a defined thought pattern, and even what they said felt right. And the fact that Dean conversed the longest with Harry was fitting, as they had the most in common outside of Ron in that they were on the run for ages. There was a great air of commiseration there. I did notice that Dean was the only one referred to with his last name, which is a bit odd. I would recommend deleting the ‘Thomas’ for the sake of continuity.
Seamus was great, even if I’m not sure I could put my finger on why it is. Though I theorise that the moment you really sold me on him was when he made the mental note that his bed was just a bit too small. For me, I saw a lot of things there. He was his own man at that moment, not a boy whose mother formed his opinions. That he didn’t apologise for waking anyone said quite a bit, as well, because he knew that he’d earned their respect, as well as a good kip.
Of all the segments, though, Neville’s was my favourite by far. First off, a nod of kudos for the Neville/Luna moment. It just should’ve been canon, but I digress. It’s one of the few things that Steve Kloves will have got right. Anyway, back to Neville… You captured his excitement at being the centre of attention, but he didn’t lose that solemnity that came with the knowledge that so many people he’d cared about were dead. That he patiently waited for the Fat Lady to tend to her mourning portrait fellows was such a lovely way of showing that. You really took him from his BAMF element and demonstrated that deep emotion that made him a true Gryffindor, one worthy of pulling the sword out of the Hat in his time of need. But the best part was when he set the sword down next to Harry. That sword, still crusted in Nagini’s blood, stood as a testament to the man he was, that no one thought he would become (not even himself), yet he relinquished it out of deference. How much better a friend and comrade can he be? That is dangerously close to a sniffle moment for me.
Ron’s portion was good. I’m not sure I liked it as well as the others’, but it was still well-done. I really liked that he was with his family and even sharing a tender moment with Ginny. I’m not entirely sure he’d fend off his mum like that, especially knowing what she’s lost and how she is, but that just might be my own personal opinion and entirely subjective. But the ending was so, so fabulous. No words of acknowledgment, no ‘hello’s, no ‘thank you’s, no ‘good night’s… just ‘I’m going to take a nap’. That is just Ron. It is ridiculously Ron. Just that line alone doubled my enjoyment of his part.
The last few lines just brings that whole full circle feeling to a good ending point. No great speeches or profound thoughts from any of them, just a firm denial of really being grown-ups and a unanimous confirmation of it. They truly were the kids who saved the world who wanted to be kids for just that one last time, just snoozing away in their dorms like they hadn’t a care in the world. That = love.
If I were to offer one suggestion for improvement, it would be the parts about traversing the castle to get to the Tower. The first time, it was fine, but over and over, it got a bit repetitive. To me, it would’ve been more effective to reference detours with no particular detail for the first three and show the long, arduous journey through alternate routes for Ron, as he’d been there the longest on Harry’s journey to beat Voldemort, and he was the last one up. There is a bit of a continuity error, or possibly just something ill-clarified. Dean nods to Seamus and Neville before heading up, but Seamus in his bit was sitting in a circle while holding hands with Lavender. I’m not entirely sure how much time has passed between sequences, so it felt a bit off.
Really, though, in summation, this story was a triumph in simplicity. Your style really gave it a colloquial, mellow feeling of real life, and each time the boys fell asleep or came close, your description and language slowed in kind, almost as if I the reader was falling into slumber with each of them (and not in that ‘you put me to sleep with your writing way’). It was very effective in tying me as a reader to the characters and to the concept of the story.
I’m so glad I picked this story, as I’m on a major battle / post-battle kick of late, so this really fit into what I’ve been looking for. You managed to make a sweet moment out of a potentially pained situation, with the losses in the battle, and I applaud you for that. In my opinion, your QSQ nomination is well-deserved, and I hope you do well in the judging.
Author's Response: This is a ridiculously fantastic review. Thank you so much for all the kind words. I do kind of agree about the repetition with their journeys up to the Tower, but I couldn't think of any other way to do it. Also, thank you for pointing out the continuity errors--I'll have to look at those again. I understand your feedback on Ron as well. I thought he would be easier to write than Seamus and Dean because we see so much more of him in the books, but I did struggle a bit. And Neville's bit is my favorite part too :) Neville is just such a ridiculously good person, and I really wanted to do him justice. His gesture to Harry with the sword came very naturally when I was writing it, and I'm glad you liked it! Thanks again for such a lovely review -Danielle
Sweet one shot :-) I liked it
Author's Response: Thanks!
Sorry this took me so long to get around to reviewing this, but you already know how I feel about this charming ficlet. ^_^
I think this was a nice example of nostalgia - for us, the fans. It was nice to see all the boys back together and you managed to write it in a very reminiscent style, reminding me of Harry's first day of school. It just made me all warm inside and sigh, “Aww”. I especially loved that you ended it with Ron's recap and Neville's statement at the end was just so Neville. I love that guy to pieces. I literally want to hug him through the screen. C'mere, Neville. Give us a hug.
Overall, this was just a charming addition and would have been a nice way to have ended the book for real. Instead of a neat wrap up (like in the book), your ending seems sweeter to me, and more real. It's something I could have seen happening, and I think you did a great job expressing your themes. You should be happy because this was a lovely read, m'dear. ^_^
Author's Response: You're such a sweetheart. *hugs*
Sweet, with just one mis-edit to correct:
"Ron he decided that now was a good time to join him"
Author's Response: Didn't notice that, thanks!
This is a little sentimental, but not overly so. I like think it's nice to see them all together again, and shows that some things never change.
Author's Response: Yeah I'm not usually one for writing fics that give you the warm fuzzies, but I really wanted to write this one. I appreciate your input, thanks for the review!
adorable! you portrayed each of the boys very well. the end however, was so touching that I had tears in my eyes. Great job!
Author's Response: Thanks so much!
Awwww, lovely. Okay, I have to admit to giggling slightly over Dean and Seamus because in one of my fics they get up to something much naughtier than a kip - ha ha. Anyway, sorry, that's not important. I loved them all here. Those lovely lion-hearted boys needing, above all, to be together for possibly the last time that they thought they'd never see.
I seriously loved Neville giving the sword to Harry, but in a way, I wanted it to disappear again, or not let Neville let it go. Mind you, if you'd done that, then I wouldn't have read the lovely moment when Harry opens his eyes.
Then I laughed - I really did - at Ron shaking off his mum. Poor old Molly. Of COURSE she wants to cuddle and scold him. She hasn't seen him for nine months, but he wants sleep. (So glad you didn't make him think of food at that point- I would have throttled you!) I do have a bit of a criticism. Given what we know of the Battle and what had happened just before, I was surprised he gave up on the chance to be with Hermione, or left without saying anything to her. It just seems a bit odd that she's left there with the Weasleys and no one else. (sorry, will get back to being nice now)
I rally loved The Fat Lady, she's someone I adore writing - usually drunk or in a humorous way, but here you showed such a great side to her and the way the portraits huddled around each other offering support was a brilliant touch. As were there different reactions to her. Neville waiting to show her respect was lovely - I gulped a bit at that point.
Lovely story, Danielle and a great taster for DH part 2 :) ~Carole~
Author's Response: Thanks so much Carole! You're a sweetheart. After rereading DH I kind of felt like this was something I really wanted to see between all the Gryffindor boys. I get what you're saying about Ron wanting to be with Hermione, etc. In my head, when the boys decide to go up to Gryffindor Tower it's hours and hours after the battle. So again (in my head) I was thinking that Ron and Hermione had already been together for a while. I think I would have done better to express that it wasn't right after it happened. Thanks for the lovely comments and advice Carole, I appreciate it!
Sentimental and very sweet!! I love this one very much! Just a moment for them to escape and be the boys they should've been!
Author's Response: Thanks! I was rereading DH and I this idea popped into my head at the end. Glad you enjoyed :)
That was a sweet and simple story. I think you got a lot of the characterizations right, though I actually don't know if Ron would have left his family so easily. They had just lost Fred and they were together for the first time in months. However, despite that one little bit, it was beautiful. I loved the simplicity, and how each returned to their proper place after such a horrible year/event. Well written!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I see your point about Ron, but I was hoping to emphasize that he was a bit sick of his mum's endless hug ;) Anyway, glad you enjoyed and thanks again!
The only response for a story like this is a smile. =)
Author's Response: Aw, thanks! I appreciate it.